How safe were the choices at Monday night’s Emmy Awards? Let’s just say that voters didn’t (as host Seth Meyers joked about Matthew McConaughey) trade their televisions for a conch shell full of weed this year.
Here’s what won and why and how it matched with our predictions:
The pick: “Breaking Bad”
The winner: “Breaking Bad”
“Breaking Bad” delivered a final batch of episodes that satisfied on multiple levels. There was never much doubt that voters would respond with a proper send-off.
LEAD ACTOR DRAMA
The pick: Matthew McConaughey, “True Detective”
The winner: Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad”
All right, all right … oh, no! Everyone in the room seem delighted to have McConaughey join them. But when push came to shove, TV academy voters went with one of their own. You can’t argue about the choice; Cranston deserved his fourth Emmy just as much as the other three he won for playing Walter White. Come to think of it, we’d give him an award just for that Sneaky Pete speech.
LEAD ACTRESS DRAMA
The pick: Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife”
The winner: Margulies
There was some thought that “House of Cards” lead Robin Wright might take this Emmy or that Claire Danes could threepeat for a highly charged episode of “Homeland.” But voters returned Margulies to the podium, four years after her first “Good Wife” win. She gave a subdued, nuanced performance in her submitted episode for a show that should have been Emmy-nominated as well.
SUPPORTING ACTOR DRAMA
The pick: Aaron Paul, “Breaking Bad”
The winner: Paul
This Emmy could have easily gone to “Game of Thrones’ ” Peter Dinklage or “The Good Wife’s” Josh Charles, who left the show on spectacular terms this season. But Paul had a memorable final lap too. His win, followed by Gunn’s, signaled a big night for “Breaking Bad.”
SUPPORTING ACTRESS DRAMA
The pick: Anna Gunn, “Breaking Bad”
The winner: Gunn
Gunn won her first Emmy last year and had a great episode (“Ozymandias,” which won the drama writing category) to pull off a repeat.
The pick: “Modern Family”
The winner: “Modern Family”
Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black” was a popular choice here, but network comedies have won this category 62 times in 63 years, and this wasn’t a year for change. Many voters resisted the notion that “Orange” belonged in this category in the first place. Maybe it built some momentum with all the nominations and it will take this Emmy next year. Or it might move to drama for its even darker second season. Meanwhile, "Modern Family" tied "Frasier's" record as the only shows to win five series Emmys.
LEAD ACTOR COMEDY
The pick: Ricky Gervais, "Derek"
The winner: Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory”
Remember last year’s Emmys when voters surprised us? Well … that was last year. I should have never picked against the safe choice. Like host Seth Meyers said of Parsons: $1 million an episode. “Worth every penny.”
LEAD ACTRESS COMEDY
The pick: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”
The winner: Louis-Dreyfus
Maybe you don’t subscribe to HBO and don’t know just how brilliant Louis-Dreyfus is on the show. But you’ve seen her Emmy acceptance speeches, right? Last year with Tony Hale whispering instructions in her ear and this year’s fantastic, scripted make-out moment with Cranston showed off her impeccable comedic gifts.
SUPPORTING ACTOR COMEDY
The pick: Andre Braugher, "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"
The winner: Ty Burrell, "Modern Family"
There were a number of great choices in this category, including Burrell's castmate, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who still hasn't won an Emmy despite being nominated for each of "Modern Family's" five seasons.
Apparently voters were taken with Burrell's parody rendition of Styx's "Come Sail Away" in his submitted episode, "Spring-a-Ding-Fling." And why not? Who hasn’t, at some point, looked to the sea and seen reflections in the waves that sparked their memories? No one, I tell you! No one!
SUPPORTING ACTRESS COMEDY
The pick: Allison Janney, "Mom"
The winner: Janney
On a night when Emmy voters went with the tried-and-true, there was little chance Janney, now a six-time winner, wouldn’t take this Emmy. Plus, as I noted in our predictions earlier, TV academy members can’t get enough of actresses playing moms in this category.